Our Families

Our Story

Early experiences and relationships are critical to brain development – they build the foundation for health, learning, and life. But too many parents face crippling hardships just when their children need them most. When children grow up in stressful environments where they are exposed to violence, neglect, or untreated mental illness, those experiences can block the normal, healthy development of their brains—harming long-term health and future outcomes.

Child First works with parents and young children together in their homes. We help parents heal from their own history of trauma, empowering parents to create a nurturing and stable home environment. We also connect families directly with the services they need —like a safe place to live, medical care or quality childcare.

Our Families' Stories

These stories depict the real life experiences encountered by families that have participated in Child First. The underlying theme for each family is the importance of intervening early to rebuild strong nurturing relationships between child and caregivers. Pseudonyms have been used to protect the anonymity of families.

Tanya’s Story

Tanya was a four year little girl with long brown curls and big, sad, brown eyes. She came to the Bridgeport Hospital Pediatric Clinic for her well child visit on a cold October day with her mother, a tall stately woman wearing dark, sunglasses. In the waiting room, Mom was asked to fill out a new questionnaire. She did. It helped pass the time. Throughout the visit with the doctor, and Mom kept her glasses on and said little. Tanya was healthy. But, before leaving, a woman with a sweet smile came into the exam room to talk to her... Read More.

Jose’s Story

The first thing you notice about five-year-old Jose is his smile – the boy has a quick and playful grin that lights up his whole face. But it wasn’t always this way. When he was just three, Jose witnessed the dramatic arrest of his father, who, unbeknownst to the rest of the family, was selling drugs instead of furniture. One cold November night, while Jose and his mother were curled together reading a book on the couch, law enforcement surrounded their apartment building. In a shocking and horrifying scene, armed officers burst through the door, pushed Jose’s mother to the floor, and tore their furniture apart. Jose hid in a corner, terrified, and watched as the FBI led his father away in handcuffs. In an instant.... Read More.

Luis’ Story

Luis is a handsome 4 year old, with thick black hair and beautiful, expressive brown eyes, which he kept averted most of the time.  His mom, Maria, was incredibly worried about him.  His speech was slightly  delayed, despite having received great services through Birth to 3.  He experienced moments of anger and despair, where he would bang his head, hit his mom, cry inconsolably, and scream until he could scream no more.  He would rarely look people in the eye, preferring to play alone.  He also had severe separation anxiety, which troubled his mom, who wanted him to get a better education than she got.  His time in preschool also allowed her to work an extra job to make ends meet.  When she was referred to Child First, she shared that she firmly believed that his behavior was caused by the domestic violence he had seen in his home at such a young age.... Read More.